First it was those mangy curs (aarggh) paralyzing the world’s sea lanes. Now that pesky flu.
It’s all I can do to manage one quick gulp until the next suffocating barrage of wall-to-wall “news” coverage of the crisis du jour.
That said, compared to some of our “journalistic” (and I use that adjective very loosely) electronic counterparts, where every case of post-nasal drip gets exposed under the radioactive-hot klieg lights, pub radio’s coverage of the great flu outbreak of ’09 borders on the somnolent. We just lack the bones to excel in all that rumor-as-news and apocalyptic scenario-mongering as practiced by the high priest of the cathode temple. Depending on your cognitive disposition, a couple hours of the TV-jackhammer-to-the-brain will leave you either cowering in your garden shed or running to the mall to buy a bunch of appliances you don’t need.
But back to public radio. Despite our more sedate approach, there’s been some debate in these warrens if we—and by “we” I mean the collective public radio “we”—have been a tad excessive in our coverage of what is looking to be not as severe an outbreak as initially speculated. Not to minimize the death and illness, but this is not the end of the world as we know it. Not by a stretch.
So what do you think? Have we overindulged? Have we been too prone to run with the media herd? And let me recommend David Boeri’s excellent essay, in which he somehow, brilliantly and flawlessly, ties it all in with his expansive garden somewhere out in those hinterlands west of Worcester.